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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars55
4.7 out of 5 stars
Price:£129.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2012
This is a great tripod head. well worth the extra few £££ as an upgrade from the 700 series, which are distinctly average.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2014
No doubt about it, this is one great tripod head.. in more ways than one !!, its supposed to be a medium size head, but it is really quite large. if you are thinking of using this for a very small camcorder or small camera, forget it. it will dwarf it and maybe look a bit stupid. but if you need the extra size, then you will have a great fluid head in the 502AH. very good pan and tilt with adjustable tensions. Built like a tank, but good looking with it. A lot of people on 'you-tube' mention the hard to get at locks, but I found them to be just fine. after all, you only lock the head after using it, not during use !. one thing to note, regarding camera mountings, is that the plate is of the slide in type and not the clip down type. This can be a problem if you use a large shoulder mount set up, things can get in the way of the slide mount.
All in all, a great fluid head for Pro use, and not-so-pro use, if you like the size ! .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2015
I have only had the chance to use this video head once so far, I use a Canon HF-G10 and I did a video of one of our dance and singing groups at the local theatre, I got placed up in what used to be the projector room in the days when it was a cinema, this space is about 80 feet from the stage and 12 foot up in the air.
I set the head so that it would tilt down and the balance spring would hold it in position when I let go of the handle, the tilt adjustment was such that it gave me full control with very little effort, being this far away from the stage area I had to use a little of the digital zoom to get some close ups , because the optical zoom on this Canon is X10.
Once satisfied with all the settings and how far along the camera sat on the head to give the balance, I marked them, ready for next time. Very satisfied with my purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2014
This head is great in it's price range, it has a drag system for panning, and a counterbalance for tilting. Very smooth performance overall, excellent for light cameras like DSLRs, you can also choose another version of this head with ball mount, which is good for quick leveling.

Not suitable for slider, cause it's way too big and a bit heavy, should go for MVH500AH for that purpose.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2013
OK you might be wondering why 14 people have given this head 5* and I have only given it 4*. I will get to the point!! extra Manfrotto plates for this head are a rip off, I do not know how anyone who sets the prices for these products can sleep at night, I even emailed them about it. they just tried to fob me of that I needed to ask someone ells. for the long plate on this head the cheapest I can get them for is £45 for a 4" peace of metal. GET REAL!! seen as the head with all its technology is around £130 just does not fit!! Manfrotto should be ashamed of themselves. FEAR NOT!!! I do have a solution which will help. there is a shorter version for the Manfrotto 501 and it fits PERFECT!! just a little shorter. you can get them off ebay for £16 may be less. manfrotto will not tell you this. but I have 2 of these plates. Eat that manfrotto!! Now I have finished ranting on that. one more rant. the older 501 which this 502 is meant to have replaced. has a balance thing on it. basically means where ever you put the camera it will stay exactly where it is even if you let go of the head handle. the 502 does not have this. now I have finished my rant on why I only give the head 4* apart from them 2. this head is fantastic. smooth, even with a very small light camera. I know some people have mentioned other heads were a little stiff with a smaller camera. not this. It is fantastic. so as long as you don't need the balance thing and you go to ebay for the extra slightly shorter plates you are laughing. You will defiantly not be disappointed!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
I used to use a Slik 504QF II Video Tripod head that I got 2 years back. It was great whilst it lasted until the handle broke! So, I decided to have a look at more premium fluid heads, mainly Manfrotto ones. I had a look at the line of fluid video heads Manfrotto has to offer: the 701HDV, the 501HDV and the 502AH. I didn't look at the Pro Video Head 75 because I don't want to spend that much just on a fluid head.

I decided to go with the 502AH The 502 comes in 2 types: the 502AH which has a flat base, and the 502A with a bowl base (I think it's the 75mm size). I have a tripod with a 3/8" thread so I got the 502AH with the flat base. You can always upgrade to a bowl base with the Manfrotto 520BALL for 75mm bowl tripods or the Manfrotto 500BALL for 100mm bowl tripods.

To me, the 502 head looks so much better and professional than both the 701 or the 501 head thanks to the bridging technology that they say is sturdier.

When I pulled the head out the box, I could certainly tell that it was more than a step up from my old Slik head. The feel of it seems very robust and it is also quite heavy! The size wasn't very surprising to me because I knew the size of the head that I wanted. Definitely lives up to that aspect for me.

The handle comes detached from the head as I think most tripod heads come like that. When attaching it, I noticed there's a bit of a design flaw with the handle. There is the handle itself, and the clamp on the end of the handle which is actually what attaches to the head. The clamp uses a screw to attach to the head, whilst at the same time attaches to the handle and stops it turning in the clamp. You have to tighten this with a lot of force until the handle stops turning in the clamp so easily! There should be a thin piece of rubber on the handle or something to stop it turning.

The actual operation of the head is amazing! The Fluid Drag System (FDS) really helps you get smooth movements with the head. You can control the FDS separately on both the pan and tilt axis. You can have no drag at all which lets the pan axis 'float' due to the ball bearings and spins around continuously. I usually keep the tilt FDS tightened up all the way (I've got a 550D on a rig w/Matte Box, Follow Focus, Monitor etc) and when pointed down slightly, it doesn't move at all unlike my old head! I usually have the pan FDS almost done up, but not all the way.

The pan and tilt locks aren't exactly placed very well, but I don't really use these anyway.The red rings on the handle turn for some reason but they don't come off, so it's not that much of a problem to me.

The quick release plate is very long! I use both the 1/4" and 3/8" because my rig has 4 mounts (2 mounts for each), so I put the 1/4" at the front and the 3/8" at the back (this also helps it not to turn side to side). You need a coin or screwdriver to tighten these up, though. Apparently the QR plates from the 701HDV and 501HDV are shorter versions and will still work on the 502 head. I might adapt to these to make all my QR plates take this system apart from my monitor that I have a Neewer QR Plate/Manfrotto 323 (They're the same).

The QR mechanism on the head is simple. You just slide the QR plate in, it goes past the safety lock, then you have to tighten the screw on the side. Quick! (As the name suggests!)

Next upgrades will be a Lilliput 5d-II and then new tripod video legs! I'll be buying the 75mm bowl adapter probably!
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on 9 December 2013
I'm a debutant to high quality tripods - I have a cheap old fluid headed velbon that hasn't really cut the mustard, particularly not for the 3 kilo 100mm refractor telescope I use for birdwatching - I found that at higher magnifications I had to aim the scope above the target and fully tighten the tilt axis only to find that the scope would droop a little on its way past the desired stop point. The Velbon head wobbled hopelessly making it hard to focus at high magnification when focussing is critical. I have lost the hand not once but twice (which to me suggests a design fault as much as carelessness).
THIS PIECE OF KIT in a different order ALTOGETHER but it's very heavy at 1.6kg. The action is beautifully smooth and I really like the facillity to set the balance point which is afforded by the sliding (but lockable) plate on top. When I discovered that the head takes a different sized thread to that afforded by the legs of my velbon I decided to send this back. When I'm richer I might buy the lighter and cheaper Manfrotto MVH 500AH head (although that model lacks the adjustable pan and tilt tension afforded by this unit) along with a new set of legs (probably the 055 XB AKA "Manfrotto Classic") but in the meantime I realised that a complete outfit would be more than I ought to afford at the moment. Notwithstanding this seems to be superbly engineered and I'm quite loathe to send it back.
The delivery was prompt and I hope that they will accept the unit back without any problems.
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on 16 October 2013
Built like a tank and the counterbalance system works perfectly. You just let go of the handle and it stays where you left it with no creeping. Setting the balance point takes seconds. Totally smooth start to a pan or tilt from stationary. Tracking birds in flight is a doddle. The base plate fits rock solid to the camera and sliding it into the mount is child's play. It locks in solidly. Easy to assemble and disassemble the sturdy but light handle. The glide torque settings are easy to use and lock down. There's not a hint of wobble or looseness anywhere in the design.

FYI the camera being used is a Sony HXR-NX5E which weighs in at about 2.5kg including battery.

This is streets ahead of the cheap and cheerful head I was using. Well worth every penny and a perfect upgrade if you are finding a budget head a bit jerky and imprecise.
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on 18 November 2015
Takes a while to get to grips with. For the price I had hoped it would work better. Its sticky and noisy and takes too long to set up. Its built like a tank. (a Russian Tank) and will probably last a long time. Though its Italian, Its no Ducati, and defo had no feedback from Rossi. If you want clean pans and dips from this device, you need to put in the time with the controls which are stiff as hell.
The removable plate is a bit touch and go, designed for heavy old school video cameras like my Canon xhA1 not a GH4 or the like.
Knowing no better, I shelled out quite a lot of money bying into Manfrotto thinking that this gear would be future proof. I have discovered that Manfrotto are behind the curve and although their products are very robust, they are not always the best option.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2012
The best tripod head i have ever used, am very happy about this product. Very smooth, I use 701HDV and Libec TH-650 DV to compare them with this, is like analog and digital.
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